Elvia Luz González-Muñoz*
Center for Research in Ergonomics (CUAD), University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Jal, México
Received Date: June 01, 2017; Accepted Date: July 11, 2017; Published Date: July 20, 2017
Citation: González-Muñoz EL (2017) What about Ergonomic Risks and Musculoskeletal Disorders in the Upper Extremity in Mexico? J Ergonomics 7:208. doi: 10.4172/2165-7556.1000208
Copyright: © 2017 González-Muñoz EL. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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According to the Public Finance Studies Center, in Mexico (31), only 31.6% of the economically active population is insured in the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), an institution responsible for the medical care of Workers. This population is considered in public statistics on occupational diseases. That is very serious since it means that it is not known what the working and health conditions of almost 70% of Mexican workers are. However, we can say that this amount is only the tip of the iceberg. There are a large number of informal workers for whom no data are available .
The outlook for musculoskeletal disorders, caused by the ergonomic risks present in the workplace, is rather bleak, as the trend in recent years has been increasing, according to official records indicate.
Figure 1 show how the prevalence of some disorders due to trauma in the upper limb has been modified. It is clear that in the last five years the registry of these disorders has increased and the classification of these disorders has been improved [2-7].
Source: DPES/Economic Benefits and Occupational Health Unit/ Health Coordination at Work (CST), Workplace Risk Base 2016. As it is possible to observe in Figures 2 and 3, the distribution of the CTDs considering the gender of the workers is similar to what happens worldwide; women are the most affected by these problems. Carpal tunnel syndrome and Quervain's disease, the ratio is close to six to one compared to the rest of the pathologies that have a ratio of 2 to 1, approximately [2-7].
On the other hand, the system of registration of occupational hazards that has used in the country, regulated by the current labor legislation, does not allow characterizing the ergonomic risks existing in the workplaces.
The classification that has been used performs a quite general classification of the risks and conditions existing in the workplace, as can be seen in Table 1. This classification makes a division between unsafe acts and physical hazards, considering that both are elements that affect the generation of diseases and work accidentally. However, it is not possible to differentiate which are those that have an ergonomic origin.
|Insecure Act||Physical hazards|
|Failure to ensure or prevent||Hazardous Methods, Materials or Procedures|
|Lack of attention to the support base or its surroundings||Public hazards|
|Failure or unsafe third party act||Defects of the agents|
|Adopt dangerous positions or attitudes||Placement hazards|
|Inappropriate use of hands or other parts of the body||Environmental hazards|
|Inappropriate behavior at work||Environmental hazards of working outdoors, other than public hazards|
|Place, mix, combine, etc., in an unsafe way||Clothing and apparel hazards|
|Do not use personal protective equipment||Improperly Protected|
|Inappropriate use of equipment||Physical hazard, s.c.e.|
|Operate or work at unsafe speed||Other classification|
|Inoperative safety devices||Not specified|
|Clean, grease, adjust or repair moving equipment, with electric or pressurized load|
|Use of unsafe equipment|
|Wear unsafe personal clothing accessories|
|No unsafe act|
|Source: DPES/Economic Benefits and Occupational Health Unit/Health Coordination at Work (CST), Workplace Risk Base 2016|
Table 1: Classification of laborer risk in México.
As can be observed, there is no adequate classification of the risks, which does not allow establishing an association with the reported diseases.
At present, work is being carried out in the preparation of an Official Mexican Standard that allows an adequate monitoring of these risks and, therefore, to reduce this risk. This normativity aims to incorporate ergonomic risks that are recognized at international level: over-stress, repetitiveness, and inappropriate postures. Likewise, it has sought that the techniques for detection and evaluation, are those proven in multiple investigations and interventions.
The change in normative will improve the preventive activities in the area, and give certainty to the work of the ergonomist, having a legislative framework that supports the work done in the workplace.
In the same way, it will allow a timely detection of the risks, and facility makes the best process of prevention of the symptoms or diseases that currently exist.